See if you can pick up the theme in today’s recommendations.
Watch: True Detective
This series has more layers than an onion. On the surface, it is the story of two police officers investigating the bizarre death of a prostitute. Go deeper, and it is a story about two detectives questioning two detectives who investigated the bizarre death of a prostitute. Go deeper again, and it is a story about two detectives telling their version of investigating the bizarre death of a prostitute to two detectives. There are mythologies and religions at play, symbols (literal and figurative), versions of truth and unreliable narrators. Hints of conspiracy, cover-ups and above all, a sense of impending doom. Clear your schedule and block out all distractions. This one is something special.
Read: The King in Yellow
Robert W. Chambers’ collection was banned in Europe upon publication, and has had a significant impact on writers including H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Heinlein since the volume was released in 1895. The stories in the collection centre around a play which is supposed to be so powerful it drives readers insane. It is described as occult literature, weird, macabre, supernatural and eerie. So why read it? Because it seems to be one of the touchstones of True Detective. References have been peppered through the first five episodes, and I strongly suspect it will continue to echo through the series.
And did I mention it is available to download legally for free? Yeah. You should do that.
Listen: Detect This
Want to obsess over True Detective between episodes? Try listening to one of the many podcasts already dedicated to dissecting the show. My favourite thus far is Detect This, but you can also check out After Buzz or The Fuzzy Typewriter. It can be a lot of fun to geek out over your newest show, and these provide a good outlet.